Nowhere Netflix (2023) Review, A Survival Thriller with a Maternal Twist

Nowhere movie Netflix

The latest international thriller on Netflix, “Nowhere,” while intriguing, takes its time to establish its identity and grapples with tonal inconsistencies. Nevertheless, Anna Castillo’s compelling performance anchors the film, preventing it from losing its way entirely.

Following a somewhat awkward prologue that places the refugee crisis in a dystopian future, rather than in real-world hotspots of the 2020s, “Nowhere” morphs into a single-setting, single-character survival narrative. 

The film excels in portraying a woman’s unwavering determination to protect herself and her newborn child. Despite a few directorial missteps, Castillo’s portrayal compensates, making this film a worthwhile discovery for viewers navigating their streaming platforms.

Nowhere Plot Summary

The story revolves around Mia (played by Anna Castillo), the heavily pregnant partner of Nico (Tamar Novas). The couple is already on the run from a country ravaged by violence. They navigate through a cargo yard, evading dogs and helicopter beams, eventually seeking refuge in separate shipping containers. 

However, their journey takes a harrowing turn. Nico faces a grim fate, while Mia finds herself trapped with strangers before their vessel is intercepted by soldiers. Tragically, everyone except Mia meets a grim end. Suddenly, Mia is adrift in the vast ocean, with scarce supplies and no way of returning home. And then, she goes into labor.

Survival Instincts

“Nowhere” shines in its deliberate portrayal of Mia’s struggle—her attempts to pry open the container’s roof, learning to fish, and more. These relatable moments tap into the fundamental essence of a survival tale, prompting viewers to reflect on their own potential reactions in such dire circumstances. Could we summon the strength to survive in the middle of nowhere for an indeterminate period? Or would we succumb to despair? The added dimension of a newborn dramatically heightens the stakes. Mia is not only fighting for her own life but also for the child she lost before this ordeal began.

Anna Castillo’s Impact

Director Albert Pinto adeptly extracts a layered performance from Castillo, who initially appears slightly affected (largely due to the initial clunky dialogue). However, once Mia gives birth, she seamlessly transforms into a formidable symbol of survival. The maternal element elevates the suspension of disbelief, as Castillo convincingly conveys that surrender is not an option, especially for her child.

Nowhere Film’s Flaws and Strengths

While “Nowhere” exhibits moments of clunky filmmaking, particularly within the container’s confined space, there’s potential for a more claustrophobic and intense atmosphere. Some editing choices lean towards hyperactivity, when a more measured approach could better convey the passage of time and Mia’s escalating desperation. The film also tends to become repetitive over its nearly two-hour runtime. Regarding its thematic stance on the refugee crisis, it’s advisable to appreciate “Nowhere” primarily as a testament to a mother’s fierce determination to survive and protect.


“Nowhere” may have its shortcomings, but it ultimately succeeds in delivering a gripping survival thriller with a compelling maternal angle. Anna Castillo’s commanding performance, coupled with the film’s exploration of a mother’s unyielding will, solidifies its place as a noteworthy addition to the thriller genre.

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